UCrate®, supported by Laminations’ problem-solving, consultative approach to customer service, is capturing the attention of distributors and their customers in a wide variety of applications.
Jack Heystek, a sales representative with a Midwestern packaging distributor, was approached by Suzanne von Valtier, Laminations Account Manager, shortly after UCrate was launched in April.
“I pursued it almost immediately and it’s worked out very well,” said Heystek. “We got our first order for UCrate in late April and the customer is very happy.”
Heystek’s customer uses UCrate to ship long, narrow metal support rods for shelving used inside commercial vehicles.
“The part itself is flat, long and very flexible. It’s about five inches wide and about 130 inches long,” Heystek said. “They couldn’t use corrugated, because that would flex. They couldn’t use wood, because that would be cost-prohibitive. UCrate is just perfect for that item.”
Heystek said von Valtier played a major role in the decision by his customer to begin using UCrate.
“She’s extremely well organized. She presents herself very well. And the customer immediately gets the sense that she’s there to help them solve a problem, not just to sell something,” Heystek said.
Other early indications from the field on UCrate are equally promising:
Nikki Van Wingerden, Laminations Account Manager, is getting favorable reports on UCrate trials from George Bouton, a sales representative with a national distributor in the Southeast.
The end-customer specializes in custom-cut window blinds and ships them from centers around the country.
Bouton said his customer previously used a combination of packaging components. UCrate is delivering better protection while providing savings in labor and materials.
“They used to use fan-folded corrugated, bubble wrap and corner protectors, cut everything to order and then tape it up,” Bouton said. “It was very labor intensive and material intensive. Plus they were still getting considerable damage because the packaging would bend or crush during shipment.”
UCrate performed well in the first trial and is now being tried in three locations, Bouton said.
·Steve Emmrich, sales representative with a packaging distributor’s Los Angeles office, has a strong relationship with both Laminations and with a Southern California distributor of stainless steel tubing.
When Chris Wingenroth, Laminations Regional Sales Manager, let him know that UCrate was a packaging option, Emmrich saw an opportunity to better service his account.
The chance to consolidate suppliers with a responsive and trusted representative without sacrificing protective performance proved persuasive.
“I already was doing a lot of business with this customer,” Emmrich said. “With UCrate, we were able to save him money. Plus, he didn’t have to deal with another vendor for just one product that was shipping from farther away.”
An aluminum extruder in Ohio was among the first of Laminations’ customers to begin using UCrate. Customer service and the chance to have a choice in suppliers was the major driver, according to Dave Lackner, a sales representative for an East Coast distributor.
Lackner said he has a good relationship with John Gallop, Laminations Account Manager, and has been selling VBoard® for more than eight years. He knew the Laminations’ service level was high. But what really impressed Lackner was a personal visit by Gary Hietpas.
“To have the company vice president come out to make a personal call, that made an impact,” Lackner said. “I’ve never seen that happen.”